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Matt Hands, VP, Insurance and MoneySense
In an ideal world, there would be no collisions or traffic tickets, all drivers would qualify for the best car insurance rates. But accidents happen. And, correspondingly, insurance premiums rise. If you find yourself in this situation, we're here to help you find affordable car insurance. First, let's take a look at why any driver might be considered high-risk in insurance companies' eyes. Then, we'll give you ideas on lowering your car insurance premiums if you find yourself in this situation.
What is high-risk auto insurance & why should you care?
“High-risk” is a category of car insurance for people deemed more likely to be involved in an accident. There are many reasons why someone might be considered a high-risk driver. These include:
- A conviction for offences, such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or reckless driving.
- Multiple speeding tickets.
- More than one recent at-fault collision.
- Multiple claims
High-risk car insurance might also be a good option for drivers who have had a car insurance policy cancelled for non-payment.
Also, while they may not classify as “high-risk drivers,” men under the age of 25 typically pay the highest car insurance premiums in Canada. Statistically speaking, young men cause more accidents than any other demographic.
If you find yourself in the high-risk insurance category, you'll want to focus on actions that may ultimately see your premiums reduced. The most crucial thing in this regard is to be a safe driver. After several years without either a traffic conviction or an at-fault accident, insurance companies may consider you a lower risk and decrease your premiums accordingly.
For young drivers, one way to lower your student car insurance premiums is to complete a recognized driver training course with young drivers. Successfully completing one of these courses signifies to insurance companies that you'll be a good driver and less likely to get in an accident.
Another way to get cheap high-risk car insurance driver is to take advantage of discounts. Most insurance companies offer discounts that allow you to save, such as:
- Bundle: Insuring both your car and house with the same company can typically get you at least a 5% discount.
- Insure multiple vehicles: Having more than one vehicle insured through the same company also gives you some discount options.
- Install a safety device: Reduces the chance the car will be stolen.
- Increase your deductible: A sign you won't make frivolous claims.
The deductible is the amount that you have to pay if you want to make a claim. For example, if you have a $1,000 deductible and make a claim for $5,000 due to a collision, the insurance company would only be responsible for paying you up to $4,000 (assuming they agree it's a valid claim). Increasing your deductible lessens the insurance company's risks and, therefore, makes you a somewhat more attractive candidate to insure.
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Average price of car insurance in Ontario
2 or less violations in the last 3 years
3 or more violations in the past 3 years
Criminal code offence (e.g. DUI, careless driving)
High-risk drivers may not be able to get insurance through typical channels like agents, brokers, or comparing quotes online. A driver who finds themselves in this situation will use the services of the Facility Association. Facility car insurance guarantees every driver can purchase insurance.
The Facility Association is not an underwriter. Instead, they work with carriers that offer high-risk insurance. They help drivers in several different provinces, including Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and all the territories.
After applying for standard high-risk auto insurance, should all insurers deny you coverage, the Facility Association steps in and works with the insurance provider to ensure you have coverage.
Whether through Facility Association or a specific insurance company, high-risk car insurance can be significantly more expensive ($8,000 - $20,000) than the average car insurance rate. However, the fact that high-risk car insurance exists does help some people drive who, otherwise, might not have been able to get coverage.
Some auto insurance companies will not insure drivers they deem to be high-risk. They will either not issue a policy in the first place or decide not to renew an existing policy if they believe there is an increase in the driver's risk.
However, insurance is available for drivers considered high-risk.
Many large insurance companies will offer policies to riskier drivers. There are also specialty insurance companies dedicated to serving the high-risk market.
With auto insurance in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, high-risk drivers can still obtain insurance from their government insurers.
Finally, in cases where no individual company will insure a person, you should be able to get insurance through the Facility Association as long as you have a valid driver's license and license plates.
What are the best high risk insurance companies?
How can I stop being labelled as a high-risk driver?
How can I get cheap high-risk car insurance in Canada?
Matt Hands, Business Director of Insurance
With 6+ years of experience at Ratehub.ca, Matt’s focus has been on growing its newest business unit, Insurance. He is a thought leader and a valuable resource to respected publications across Canada. read full bio
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